PowerTap night 1 & day 1 — the setup & the first ride

Santa came early and dropped off PowerTap SL 2.4 wheels (the wireless version) for Mike and me! A number of people have expressed interest in our learning process with them, so I’m going to blog our progress of getting up to speed and learning to make the most out of them in our training.

We got them set up last night. Not too big of a deal — Rich (of wheelbuilder.com) built up awesome sexxy wheels so we just had to move over our cassettes, tubes, and tires. Then we added the computer mount to the bikes.

Here are the wheels before we got started:

I will post the full bikes once we have our new black front wheels on them as well.

We then spent the evening reading the manuals and playing with the computers: setting the time, learning a bit about what was displayed where and how to see different things. Definitely not straight forward, but actually pretty simple once you read the manual. I guess it is actually fairly similar to a regular bike computer like a cateye, but as I haven’t used one of those in a long time (and was just using my Garmin Forerunner 301) I’m not used to that interface right now.

This morning we got up bright and early and took them for a ride. It was fun to see the numbers and wonder what it all meant. I’m such a geek — I’m excited to have my first file to upload and (with the help of Coach MarkyV) learn from.

However that brings me to my first sticking point, and I have done some limited googling to no avail so far. It seems the PT manual is missing the info of what to do once the data is collected:

  • Once I have a trip in the PT computer, do I have to upload it to my computer before doing the next trip, or will it save multiple trips? How many will it save?
  • Once I do upload it to my computer, how do I reset the trip to start a new one?
  • While Saris does provide software for use with the PT, I know there are a number of websites that are popular for coaches to be able to give feedback, etc. Which one should I use (and yes, I’m waiting to hear from Marky on that one)?
  • If I upload the file to my computer, is it then gone from the PT? Or could I upload it a number of times if I needed to?

Right now I’ve put an email in to Marky, and I’m sitting here with a computer full of data just waiting to be looked at! And at home I have the highly recommended book Training and Racing with a Power Meter just waiting for me to keep reading it 🙂

Oh, and here is a bit of background on how we came to be the proud parents of new PowerTap wheels:

So why did we get power? Because we’ve heard such good things about how it can help you improve on the bike, and in particular make the best use of your time. As I’m going back to grad school part time in January (with full time work) I’m going to need to make the best use of my training time for sure!

And why PowerTap, not Ergomo or SRM? All of them seem to be reliable and useful, but we have multiple bikes: Mike has a road and a tri bike, and I have a tri bike and hope to add a road one as well soon. So we wanted something easy to switch between bikes, and we didn’t want to spend a fortune getting both bikes set up with it. It’s expensive enough to have to buy two of them! No need to up that to 4! Plus Rich at Wheelbuilder is a good friend, and he uses one as well as being a dealer of them, so we’d have him to learn from.

1 thought on “PowerTap night 1 & day 1 — the setup & the first ride

Cool first day review. Looking forward to hearing day 2. I’m thinking about getting PowerTap’s, but haven’t quite convinced myself yet. In due time…

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